“To all the up-and-coming dreamers and artists in the room tonight, I want to let you know that there is a definitive blue print that you can follow to achieve success, prosperity, longevity and peace of mind,” Murphy said.
Three factors are key, according to Murphy: “Pay your taxes, mind your business and keep Will Smith’s wife’s name out of your f…ing mouth,” he quipped, pointing to the incident between Smith and comedian Chris Rock.
While Murphy made the joke, he hasn’t actually spoken to Smith or Rock about their infamous interaction last year, he revealed in the press room following his acceptance of the award (“No, I haven’t, but I love both of them he said).
Murphy received the Cecil B. deMille Award for his career in entertainment, which has stretched across five decades. The award, granted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, honors “a talented individual for their outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment”.
Tracy Morgan and Jamie Lee Curtis presented the actor and comedian with the award. Murphy is the “reason I started doing comedy”, Morgan said, pointing to Murphy’s stand-up comedy specials as inspiration and his time on Saturday Night Live.
“You are one of the most talented, funniest and charismatic artists working today,” Curtis said, taking the stage post-montage. Curtis added she’d known that since 1983 when the two worked together on Trading Places.
“I’ve been in show business for 46 years… and I’ve been in the movie business for 41 years. So this has been a long time in the making,” Murphy said before thanking his family and several others including his agent.
Murphy has been nominated for a Golden Globe six times before, winning once, for his performance in 2006’s Dreamgirls. His most recent nomination was for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for 2019’s Dolemite is My Name.
The initial announcement that Murphy would be honored came in December; previous honorees for the Cecil B. DeMille Award include Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Meryl Streep.